Getting the perfect balance between staying in-house and outsourcing
Working in digital is an amazing experience. I love it, mainly because of its fast-pace and astonishing rate of growth. As it grows so do we who work in the industry, learning from our mistakes and creating new strategies for clients that produce real results.
But the right digital strategy doesn’t magic itself up out of thin air. The greatest challenge for us – especially as so many marketing channels are constantly appearing – is to create something bespoke for every client, no matter what industry they operate in and the market they’re speaking to.
The amount of options out there for digital companies to advertise through is truly astonishing; many of them didn’t exist as early ago as 2008. And they keep getting better, more refined to reach targeted audiences and help businesses grow.
But the key question is can you do it all yourself? You want to grow and see yourself as a much bigger brand in a few years’ time. Will that be through your own efforts, though, or thanks to a marketing agency you’ve outsourced to?
The marketing department is a loss-making one, don’t forget, to boost the sales of other departments’ products and services. And there are a lot of arguments for and against outsourcing; the main one being are you only getting a lovely pitch or real value for money from the agency you’re choosing?
That decision is entirely up to you and the research you put in, but getting the right balance of in-house and outsourcing is crucial for steady growth, I feel, especially for smaller businesses.
Social media management, for instance, I believe has to be kept unequivocally kept in-house. It’s your company, and you want to use your voice to communicate with existing customers and meet potential new ones. Having a steady, consistent voice at the helm is key to doing just that; it’s hard for another person to pretend to be you and what you stand for.
The same goes for content creation. While a marketing company may be able to help generate fresh ideas, creating good content in-house about who you are, what you do, and why you do it is important to resonate with people, especially if you’re the one sharing it, too.
But there can be digital techniques that can fully benefit your business if they’re outsourced. SEO and PPC especially, as methods are constantly changing and it can be hard for people in-house to push and stay motivated by the overall long-term investment.
Hiring in-house specialists can also be costly as search and PPC are long-term marketing prospects. PPC and SEO are slow-burners, and need constant round-the-clock management to keep budgets in-check and generate real leads and prospects.
One thing’s for certain though; no matter what you choose to stay in-house or outsource a digital manager and advisor is essential for the company, and will be one of the best recruitment decisions you ever make as you both work hand-in-hand to create a digital strategy that helps your business grow.